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On our own behalf – The Beer Monopoly on the Forbes List „Best Booze Books of 2017“

We are speechless. Surprised. Humbled. Incredibly grateful. Our book The Beer Monopoly appears on this year`s Forbes List "Best Booze Books". No, no, it`s not the Forbes Rich List. Fat chance of us ever getting on to that one.
The list was compiled by Tara Nurin and can be found here >>


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Posted June 2020

Australia – Cyber-attack on Lion halts beer production

A sophisticated foreign state-based hacker is believed to be behind the current attacks on Australian governments and businesses. Among them was the country’s number two brewer Lion. Lion said on 12 June 2020, that its investigations revealed that the system outage, first reported on 8 June, was caused by ransomware. Targeting its computer systems both in Australia and New Zealand, it had a knock-on effect on its beer production. Lion doesn’t have any evidence that any data were syphoned off. Also, Lion didn’t say if they had paid up. Read on


United Kingdom – Greene King to make slave trade reparations

The past has caught up with Greene King, a large pub chain and brewer. Addressing its founder’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, it will make payments to benefit BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) communities. The news, first reported by The Telegraph newspaper on 18 June 2020, comes as people, incensed by the killing of an African American in Minnesota, demand that the UK recognise the ongoing legacy of the British empire’s role in the enslavement of millions of Africans. Read on


USA – “Black is Beautiful” collab beer to support racial equality

Since the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, craft brewers have come together to launch a new beer in support of equality for people of colour. Named “Black is Beautiful”, the beer is a 10 percent ABV imperial stout. The first beers are expected to come out in July. Weathered Souls, a black-owned craft brewery in San Antonio, Texas, created the recipe and put up a website for downloading it. Read on


Belgium – AB-InBev takes on Duvel with new Victoria beer

AB-InBev has finally entered the fray of bottle-conditioned strong blonde beers, in an effort to take on Duvel, which leads this ever-expanding segment. In June, AB-InBev launched a new Belgian beer, called Victoria, with 8.5 percent ABV, which is a not-too subtle attack on Duvel, the most successful beer in the segment of strong blonde ales. This segment is not to be confused with abbey beers, for example AB-InBev’s Leffe brand, which form a category of their own. Read on


USA – Beer imports decline 23 percent in April 2020

Beer imports in April, the first full month of lockdown, were 3.2 million hl. That is 23 percent or 946,000 hl below the same month last year, the Beer Institute, a trade body, reported on 4 June 2020. Percentage-wise, Ireland and the United Kingdom saw the biggest losses (about 45 percent each) year-on-year, followed by Mexico (-28.5 percent) and Belgium (-26 percent). Among the top 10 importing countries, only the Netherlands saw an increase of 12 percent (19,000 hl). Read on


Germany – World beer production up 0.5 percent in 2019

For the first time in five years, global beer production has risen slightly by 0.5 percent or 9 million hl to reach 1,913 million hl, according to estimates by the Barth Report. The full 2019/2020 Barth Report will be published in October. In a preliminary statement, Barth says that in 2019 China remained the largest beer producing country, ahead of the US, Brazil, Mexico and Germany. The slight increase in production hides different developments in individual countries and continents, however. Read on


United Kingdom – When will pubs reopen?

Pressure to reopen pubs is mounting. Previous guidelines by the government say they could bounce back from 4 July 2020 “at the earliest”. A leaked blueprint by the Department for Business suggests end of June. UK media reported on 2 June that hopes are soaring for pubs to fully reopen by the end of the month. So much so that breweries have promised landlords that their first kegs of post-lockdown beer will be delivered from 15 June onwards. Read on


United Kingdom – The future of the pub

If the government insists on its two-metre gap rule for pubs, only 30 percent of the UK’s 40,000 pubs and bars will be able to reopen after lockdown, which came into force on 20 March 2020. But even those who may reopen could see their turnover reduced to 30 percent of previous trade. How viable is that if pubs and bars need 70 percent of their usual patrons to break even? Read on


Ireland – What is next for the Irish pub?

Hundreds of pubs in the Republic of Ireland could open their doors to the public at the end of June, due to a loophole in the government’s phased reopening of the economy. At the moment, pubs are not scheduled to reopen until Phase 5 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, provisionally set for 10 August 2020, provided they can adhere to strict social distancing measures. However, restaurants and cafés have been given the nod to open for business on 29 June under Phase 3 regulations. This is six weeks earlier than the pubs and has angered those publicans, who don’t have a restaurant licence. Read on


Belgium – Cafes given less than a week’s notice to reopen

It must have been a scramble to get everything into place. The National Security Council said on 3 June 2020 that almost all businesses will be allowed to reopen on 8 June, including cafes and bars. Belgium is among the European countries hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic, with over 9,500 deaths until the end of May, in the country of 11.5 million people. Cafes, bars and restaurants may reopen with a distance of 1.5 metre between tables and a maximum of ten people per table. Everyone must order at the table. Waiters need to wear face masks. Opening hours are until 1 am. Read on



USA – The end of PicoBrew

PicoBrew was considered the future of beer. But the world’s first automatic all-grain homebrewing appliance, which was as big as a microwave and could sit on a cupboard, is currently winding down. What has happened? Read on

 

United Kingdom – The future of beer: trendspotting or crystal ball gazing?

For some reason or other, the global pandemic has turned previously sound and sober commentators into doomsters. Could they have fallen victim to weltschmerz or world weariness, induced by the extended lockdown? From Schumpeter’s column in the Economist (“Closing time”, 23 May 2020) to Stephen Beaumont’s article “What will the beer category look like in 2021” on the website just-drinks.com (28 May), covid-19 has produced its own genre of forecasting, which, for lack of a better term, I would call “extravagant gloominess”. Read on


United Kingdom – Carlsberg and Marston’s set up brewing venture

Carlsberg and British brewer Marston’s have announced a deal on 22 May 2020 to jointly own seven breweries, prompting comment that this is a fire sale by another name. Marston’s from Burton is effectively taking a step back from its brewing heritage as it will only have a 40 percent stake in the venture. Read on


United Kingdom – Marston’s deal: Is the future in beer or pubs?

Although Marston’s patching up with Carlsberg smacks of a fire sale, the general view is that the deal has more to do with London’s brewer Fuller’s quitting brewing, than with the current lockdown on pubs. Insiders say that Marston’s management is hedging its bets. Eventually, the lockdown will be lifted and pubs will reopen. So where do vertically integrated brewers like Marston’s see their future? Will it be in beer or in pubs? Read on


Czech Republic – Pilsner Urquell: “the second beer is on us”

It has been a long wait for Czech beer lovers. After pubs were shuttered on 13 March 2020 because of the covid-19 pandemic, the government only eased restrictions on beer gardens on 11 May and indoor premises on 25 May. This was a cause for celebration. Asahi-owned Plzensky Prazdroj, the largest brewing group in the Czech Republic, used the day for a major PR stunt to boost patrons’ confidence. The brewer of Pilsner Urquell launched a promotion called “První pivo je na nás” (First beer on us). While this sounds straightforward enough, the actual rules were slightly different. Read on


South Africa – Lockdown eased

Beer lovers will be euphoric: After nine weeks of near-total lockdown, alcohol sales were permitted on 2 June 2020 again, but for home consumption only, and under strict conditions on specified days and for limited hours. South Africans were prohibited from buying alcohol and cigarettes when the country went into one of the world’s strictest lockdowns on 27 March. The ban was meant to prevent a spike in violence and reduce pressure on hospitals. Read on


Germany – Beer sales tank in April

Because of covid-19 and the lockdown, Bavarian brewers have seen their turnover nearly halved so far. While domestic beer sales declined only 1.5 percent in the first quarter 2020 over the same period last year, April would prove a cruel month. German beer sales were down 17 percent compared to the same month last year. That is a loss of 1.5 million hl beer, not least since beer exports have almost come to a standstill. Shipments to other EU countries registered a drop of 34 percent. For the January to April period, sales losses have run up to 2.2 million hl over the same period last year. Read on

 

 

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